Building to a circular economy
Fifty million people move to cities each year to find better opportunities for themselves and their children. One consequence is a lot more waste. Between 2012 and 2025, the amount of municipal solid waste generated each year will increase from 1.3 billion tonnes to 2.2 billion tonnes, according to World Bank estimates.
Our Geocycle business offers a unique and sustainable solution to this growing challenge. Today Geocycle treats around 10 million tons of waste annually, serving more than 10,000 customers in over 50 countries. Our aim is to reach 22 million tons by 2025.
Using state-of-the art technology, tailored processes and in-depth expertise, Geocycle converts industrial, municipal and agricultural waste into a suitable material from which mineral and/or combustible components can be recovered in our cement kilns.
The extremely high temperatures required for cement production offer a unique and safe solution to dispose of waste for which no other solution exists. Geocycle thus opens a channel for a ‘circular’ economy: it takes waste that cannot be reused or recycled, treats it and then converts it into a resource.
Geocycle contributes to lower CO2 emissions from cement production by reducing use of natural resources such as fossil fuels and virgin raw materials. Simultaneously it conserves land which would otherwise be used for landfill and reduces air and water pollution as compared to either landfill or incineration. This also significantly reduces the burden on municipalities who need solutions to this ever-growing problem.
Geocycle in Goa
In India about 80% of municipal waste is uncontrolled, dumped and openly burned. The problem is felt acutely in Goa, where the economy thrives on tourism. Local authorities are tackling the problem head-on, showcasing new methods to create a clean and green Goa. In 2017 Geocycle India met with public and private sector players working on landfill remediation.
To demonstrate how they could help, Geocycle co-processed approximately 5,000 tonnes of refuse-derived fuel, winning the trust of authorities. The pilot provided a sustainable model for cleaning up landfills without any future liability for the state government. The Goa site is now being visited by city officials from all over India as a showcase of successful partnership between Geocycle and municipalities. Municipalities of Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai and others are now looking at similar projects.